A Fascinating Character Study
- Phantom Thread review by PT
If you're looking for action forget it, this is a character based drama, with most of the action taking place within the sumptuous house. Having said that, it is a fascinating film.
Reynolds Woodstock is a dressmaker, his trade learnt from his deceased mother, whom he constantly misses. He has no idea how to treat other women in his life though. Early on we get a glimpse of his behaviour towards women with his current lady friend, whom his toady sister ( brilliantly played by Lesley Manville) offers to give marching orders to, as she knows when her brother has had enough of his current fancy. This gives the impression that this abuse, in the form of mental abuse displayed by Reynolds is a regular occurrence.
He then meets a waitress whom he takes for his new lady companion, namely Alma, played by Vicky Krieps in an impressive role. Alma at first becomes another sycophantic lover, bending to all Reynolds ridicolous whims. Of course, this total obedience is not enough and Reynolds starts to grow tired of his latest conquest. Alma will have to change the game or follow the fate of his previous partners.
There is a hint of mental illness in Reynolds character, perhaps in the form of OCD. Daniel Day Lewis is superb as Reynolds, an arrogant, totally selfish, rude, in short, complete pig of a man.
This film is another wonderful collaboration between the highly talented director and actor. It does not quite reach the absolute classic heights of their first teaming up for the masterpiece ,There Will Be Blood, which I thought was Anderson's and Lewis's greatest work. Nonetheless, a fine film, which I will definitely watch again when it is released on DVD.
11 out of 14 members found this review helpful.
For Daniel Day Lewis addicts only
- Phantom Thread review by NR
This is one of the least plausible or convincing films I have seen for a long time. At first glance it looks very beautiful - as you would expect - but the feebleness of the plot is matched only by the stilted, two-dimensional acting of the principals. This may not be their fault - the script is risible - but it does not make for a good film. If you want endless close-up shots of Day Lewis (and he is handsome enough), it is perhaps worth watching. Otherwise, ignore it.
4 out of 10 members found this review helpful.
More exciting watching paint dry!
- Phantom Thread review by MC
Truly awful, nothing film. No purpose whatsoever just a pay day for the actors. One of the worst films I've ever endured!
4 out of 9 members found this review helpful.
An interesting but claustrophobic tale
- Phantom Thread review by PJ
In 1954 London, Reynolds Woodcock, a fashion designer, creates dresses for members of high society. His fashion house is successful and run by him with the crucial support of Cyril, his sister. When he meets a plain waitress in a restaurant, out in the countryside, he turns her into his main model, then starts a relationship with her.
The film is about that relationship, between him and her (Alma). It is a very good period film and an interesting sentimental tale of 2 people who get to know each other and, gradually, find a meaningful way that they can communicate. The acting is very good and so is the re-creation of London in the 1950s.
The film is slow-moving and, in some ways, very little happens, beyond the meanders of the 2 characters' relationship and the ups and downs of the fashion house's business. There is something oppressive and claustrophobic about the story because Reynolds, the central character, basically is a control freak who is obsessive in everything he does. He can be possessive and abusive, in his own way.
So, overall, a movie I would recommend, but a somewhat strange experience in more ways than one, starting with the looks of the Germanic-sounding lead actress, Alma, who is expressive and magnetic, but not conventionally pretty, to say the least, in my view.
1 out of 2 members found this review helpful.